An unspoken and long-standing tradition, the wedding gift can be a trick to tackle! Consider these protocol guidelines when giving and receiving.
For the Bride-to-Be
Make sure you keep track of who gave you which gift; that way, when you send them a thank-you note, you can personalize it by mentioning how much you like the [insert gift here]they gave you.
Try to mail your thank-you notes no more than a month after you return from your honeymoon.
Keep in mind that people may deviate from your gift registry. If you are hoping for monetary gifts, spread the word that you would appreciate financial help, rather than items. Have the Best Man and Maid of Honor share your preferences through word-of-mouth.
Never include registry information with your “Save the Date” announcement or invitations. You can, however, include the link to your wedding website on the paper invitation.
Leave your registry open for one year after your wedding date for late gifters.
For the Giver
If a couple has a gift registry, try to stick to it – they chose the items for a reason! If you are close to them and have a more creative or DIY gift idea not on the registry, ask their parents, or the Maid of Honor and Best Man, whether they think the couple would enjoy it.
Worried about spending too much? Try the 20-20-60 Rule: If you are invited to multiple wedding celebrations, you can budget how much you will spend on each gift: 20% on an engagement gift, 20% on bridal shower, and 60% on the wedding gift.
If you are unsure of what to give the newlyweds, you and your friends who are also invited to the wedding can pool resources and purchase a bigger-ticket item together.
Convention tells us that wedding guests have up to one year after the ceremony to send the newly-weds a gift.